Ardmore Roderick was chosen to receive the 2019 WTS Rosa Parks Diversity Award for promoting diversity, inclusion and multi-cultural awareness within our organization, the transportation industry, or in a project or activity that supports the goals and mission of WTS. Carmen Dean, PE, Senior Project Manager, accepted the award on the firm’s behalf. As Carmen said in her speech, we would not be accepting this honorable award if it wasn’t for the exemplary leadership of Rosa Parks, as she stood up for righteousness in the face of injustice and relinquished her own freedom for the betterment of the greater good. We are continually inspired by Rosa Parks’ actions, and will continue to do our part to create a better tomorrow.
Ardmore Roderick has been a champion for diversity and inclusion in the AEC industry. We’ve been fortunate enough to have received mentorship on large, complex contracts since our inception, and we are now in a position to share our knowledge and expertise with up and coming minority-owned firms. Ardmore Roderick was recently selected by the Illinois Tollway to provide Systemwide Maintenance Facilities Construction Management Services Upon Request, wherein we included Bradshaw Consultants, a small African-American owned firm, to expose them to the processes and standards of the Tollway, and distributed the minority participation goals to each of our Minority Business Enterprise-certified firms. We feel it’s equally important to give back and share our experience as it is to receive.
We are also fortunate to have leaders such as Cherryl Thomas, Chief Strategy Officer, to provide not only professional guidance, but a sense of personal empowerment. Cherryl has been hugely successful in her career, creating Ardmore Associates before merging with The Roderick Group in 2017. She serves as an example of a true community leader with sharp business acumen. Recently, she led Ardmore Roderick’s first ConvHERsation, a fireside chat focused on the women of Ardmore Roderick with topics ranging from career advancement to personal anecdotes. Carmen Dean, PE serves as our Civil Engineering Team Lead, overseeing our team of transportation design engineers. With over 15 years of transportation engineering experience, Carmen offers her wealth of expertise to our young staff. Ama Addai, PE, our Utility Engineering Team Lead, goes above and beyond when it comes to seeking out opportunities for the women of Ardmore Roderick. She is highly involved in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Chicago, founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It’s the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. Within Ardmore Roderick, Ama has worn the hat of a college recruiter, visiting universities in search of talented young college students with a passion for engineering. She makes it her goal to encourage and include women with an interest in STEM and to nurture that interest at a young age. She has a knack for recognizing bright, motivated students and creates meaningful bonds and mentorship relationships with her female staff.
It’s our goal to guide both young and veteran engineers, and women in civil-related administrative roles, to reach their desired career goals. We encourage our staff to grow within the firm and have made it a priority to create a family-like environment even as Ardmore Roderick continues to grow at a steady pace.
Congratulations to all the award recipients that evening and thank you again to WTS Chicago and its members for selecting Ardmore Roderick as the recipient of the 2019 Rosa Parks Diversity Award.